All LJC Social Center clients are at risk for the viral epidemic not just because of age but also because of illness. The media have reported the mortality rate for the ill and elderly continues to grow.
Doctor Ela Gurina is a member of the LJC Social Center Commission and the chairwoman of the committee for advising Holocaust survivors. She wants to remind walk-in care staff of the Social Center how to act during the epidemic.
What work are LJC Social Center employees engaged in currently?
Employees have to take care of their clients as well as possible. To isolate them from the environment so they don’t enter public spaces. They can only walk around in places where there aren’t other people and not to engage in conversation with people they encounter. When they get home they must wash their hands for at least two minutes with soap and water, and use a special disinfectant which destroys viruses. The Community is supplying the necessary disinfectant.
Social Center home-care workers have to bring food for their clients, but our wards have to know that a worker shouldn’t be sent to the store to buy them food when it isn’t necessary. When they visit clients workers should explain that entering public spaces is restricted under quarantine and shopping should be done when theire’s an opportunity for it, and the shopping should be for several days.
How do you protect home-care workers?
If an LJC home-care worker catches corona virus, he or she can infect clients.
Don’t forget our senior citizens take public transportation when they come to us, and they should do so putting a safe distance between themselves and others. A safe distance is two meters.
Home-care workers and seniors who come to us must change clothes.
Are there many elderly LJC members bed-ridden and suffering from chronic illness?
We have many clients who live alone and many who are bed-ridden, who need help with food, changing clothes, bathing and so on. The work isn’t easy, but it’s important.
It should be remembered, if you touch a surface outside of the home, then you need to wash your hands, if not with disinfectant, then at least with soap.
The Lithuanian health minister said disinfectant has to be of a certain concentration to work, at least 60 percent alcohol. We need to be careful because, as we’ve heard, all sorts of counterfeits and false-labeled products are appearing on the market. So when you’re purchasing, just check carefully that what you’re buying is hand disinfectant.
Protect yourself, because the New England Journal of Medicine reports a new strain of the corona virus is able to maintain viability in the air for up to four hours and on certain surfaces up to 36 hours.
What food do you suggest clients eat?
The food should be heated and heavy foods should be avoided. It should be freshly prepared. Apples should be washed and peeled, and bananas should be washed before peeling.
Are there a sufficient number of care-givers currently? How are they doing?
The situation is changing by the day. Some care-givers have young children, others are ill themselves and some are simply afraid to leave the house. We’re doing the best we can. Nonetheless we are committed to serving those LJC members living alone, the elderly and the sick.
I want to ask the children of the elderly to help their parents and grandparents during this difficult time because our staff might be lacking.
It is the task of all of us to protect Community seniors. I am telling home-care staff if they travel by bus to wear a mask, the one which we have provided them. We will attempt to acquire more masks and supply them to workers as much as possible.
Do LJC elderly communicate with Community administrators?
Yes, they do, we call them by telephone, there is discussion and there is intensive work to inform them of news, for example, today programs director Žana Skudovičienė called a number of our clients, giving priority to those living alone without home-care. Also, Ema Jakobienė, the Social Center programs coordinator for food and medicine, informed clients of medicine and food cards for them. Everyone sounded very positive and were very grateful to the Community for caring.
It’s nice to hear the Jewish youth organization Sababa is offering to transport food and matzo to LJC Social Center clients who can’t make the trip to get these as Passover approaches.
I hope and wish everyone takes care of their health!